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Homeschooling as a Single Parent

Within the widespread growth of homeschooling families across the United States there is a small but growing community of parents who have dedicated themselves to giving their children a home education. These parents, at all costs, are striving for academic excellence in their children’s lives. What makes this small community stand out from other homeschooling families? These home schools stand out because they are run by one parent. These parents don’t often receive the accolades that they deserve, but the movement toward single-parent homeschooling is growing. So how do single parents home school their kids and work full time? They understand a few key qualities that must be in place.

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Always be Flexible

Single parents that establish a home school need to remain flexible in their way of thinking and educating. Unlike formal education the homeschool atmosphere is one of open learning. Parents can schedule instruction around their availability regardless of their work schedule. Instruction hours can be completed in the evenings after work and on the weekends. While parents are at work children can be working on independent studies. Some areas may offer opportunities for older children to volunteer daytime hours to help out in a local community event which can count towards learning service hours.

Lean on Others

In some households the need to find support to lean on may be more necessary than others. If you have only small children asking help from friends, family and your church family are excellent resources for day time child care. Some hired babysitters may also be willing to assist with academic activities during the day.

In addition to family and friends single households should utilize a variety of resources for parents to strengthen their approach in their role as head of household and home educator. There are many support networks both online and locally to help families establish curriculum, schedule their days and find other families in their area to connect with. Often these programs will provide scheduled activities for homeschooled children to participate in with other parent volunteers to supervise. This could be another support possibility for single parents needing day time assistance.

Behavior Problems

While behavior problems are a real possibility in every household this should not discourage single parents from homeschooling. By maintaining discipline in the home parents can successfully home-school their children and discourage bad behaviors. It is crucial to seek support from family and friends for the hours parents are away and to have clear guidelines in place for your child to follow. Talking with neighbors and asking them to phone you at work if something should arise that appears out of the ordinary is another option to maintain discipline. With the proper support in place single parents can successfully handle behavior problems while offering a home education.

Learning Disabilities

Another obstacle that can discourage single parents from homeschooling are learning disabilities. While learning difficulties, such as ADHD and dyslexia can inhibit learning it is important for to consider that home is the best environment for the struggling learner. There are many free resources available to help parents determine their child’s learning needs and where to find support for that specific need.

In the home, special learning environments can more readily be implemented for each specific student as opposed to that of a formal classroom. Where teachers are limited in what they can offer a struggling learner, parents have full control over child specific curriculum and the freedom to make learning a success. With the flexibility of homeschooling parents have an unlimited number of options to provide a home education that will accommodate any learning disability.

Being a single parent brings with it many challenges and at best demands a level of humility. For this small group of single parent home schools it is that humility which drives them to provide their children with the best education possible. Through taking advantage of resources, leaning on others for support and maintaining discipline in the home they are an inspiration to all parents, and encouragement to single parent households that are ready to take that plunge and provide their child with a home education.

About the Author:

Michedolene Hogan is a homeschooling mom of her four youngest children and the publisher of Unique Parenting [link no longer active]. Her site aims to encourage parents to develop a unique approach to parenting and focus on building strong families. Michedolene lives in a quiet neighborhood in Yucaipa CA with her husband, four younger children and adult step-son.

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  1. Denise Finch

    I homeschooled by four children many years ago when I was married, but had to stop after I became a single parent 8 years ago. My youngest has been asking me to homeschool her for the last 3 years, but it was not until this year I was able to do so. I now work from home and she has started her freshman year at home. The primary problem I see now is there is not any support or social opportunities for single parents and their children. I am unable to teach a class at the co-op because I am at work, but it means my daughter is unable to participate. There are no other available opportunities to meet homeschool families with high school students and to find out events that are communicated by mouth among those groups. It saddens me because I would like to network with other families and have my daughter socialize with other homeschooled students, but we are excluded because I am unable to teach a class. I was a leader in our homeschool support group and co-op and I wonder how many single homeschool parents out in the community that we were leaving out.

  2. I’m a single parent who is just starting to homeschool my 7 year old daughter. It is definitely a challenge! I write more about my journey on my blog, but suffice it to say that it’s a balancing act. I work from home as an entrepreneur, and she gets bored a lot, but I have to work, and I really want her home. We may have to try “regular” school for a while until things get more settled with my income, but time will tell.

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